Statement regarding Mersey Ferries

Publish date

Friday, May 14, 2021

Merseytravel has confirmed that it is committed to securing the long-term future of the Mersey Ferries, despite market pressures curtailing its procurement process for brand new vessels.

A spokesperson said:

“The Mersey Ferries are a vital part of our world-famous heritage; visitor economy and public transport system and we remain totally committed to securing their long-term future.

“Our existing ferries are almost 60 years old and in need of a revamp. Our intentions are to breathe new life into our existing fleet, helping to secure their future for the next decade and beyond.

“While we are obviously disappointed to have taken the difficult decision to end the current procurement process following the latest round of bidding,  we are making sure that they will still be around for future generations to enjoy.

“The procurement process was paused in autumn 2019, as the bids received were higher than the funding available and in view of the high level of uncertainty surrounding Brexit.”

This process was resumed before the second lockdown in August 2020 to test the market but unfortunately, prices have increased further, calling into question the affordability of the whole project.

The spokesperson continued:

“We would like to thank our suppliers for their interest and for working with us throughout the process. We are disappointed that the final solution bids were much higher than expected because of extraneous factors.

“The commissioned works at Seacombe Terminal and investment in the Eureka Mersey! project are continuing as planned, and along with plans for the significant refurbishment of the classic fleet, demonstrate our commitment to the long-term future of Mersey Ferries. We know for many, refurbishing the existing vessels, which form such great memories for the people of our region, will be seen as welcome news.”